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Why Okinawa Is The Most Haunted Place In The Military

Battlefields are fertile grounds for ghosts.

Regardless how we in the military like to think of our daily military lives, our profession is one that deals in death. No matter  your military speciality, you're helping fulfill that end. If you're a cook, you feed warfighters who are out there dealing death. If you work in finance, you're reimbursing travel vouchers for troops who likely dealt some death. Combat cameramen, you're documenting the history of dealing death and inspiring others to join in.

I'm not passing moral judgement—I was in the military, too. That's just the reality of what's happening.

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In that respect, not only does it make sense that some military installations, vehicles, and battlefields would be haunted (if you believe in that sort of thing)–it should actually make us wonder how military installations, vehicles, and battlefields aren't more haunted.

No where else is that more apparent than Kadena Air Base, Japan.

Building 2283

kadena air base
  • Photo Credit: We Are the Mighty

Rumor has it the house was demolished in 2009, but Building 2283 on Kadena's base housing was notorious for being the single most haunted house in the entire U.S. military. No one lived there for a long time and the building was reportedly used for storage—because no one could stand to stay there.

It was said that an Air Force officer murdered his entire family there before killing himself some time in the 1970s. The next military family to move in to the house experienced feelings of unrest and paranoia—until the father of the family stabbed everyone. So, it became a storage shed. But that didn't stop the house from haunting people. Passersby reported hearing sounds of children crying, strange laughter, and, in one instance, a report of a woman washing her hair in the abandoned house's sink.

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You might ask what took the Air Force so long to tear the house down, which is a valid question. Kadena reportedly attempted to tear it down, but workers attempting to destroy the building reported headaches, hallucinations, and suffered from a high rate of on-the-job injuries.

Teachers at the daycare next door (yeah, there was a daycare next door this whole time) complained of children on the playground throwing toys over the fence because "the little kids on the other side ask them to."

Other reports have cited ghostly phone rings (despite there being no phone line attached to the house), faucets turning on by themselves, curtains opening, and even a sighting of the house glowing. That's not the only sighting of a Samurai warrior. A similar Samurai warrior is said to ride the road to Camp Foster up Stillwell Drive, reportedly headed to base housing.

Spectral gate guards

There's nothing creepy about Security Forces. Not inherently, anyway. Those guys look sharp. But when you're pulling up to a gate at 3:00 A.M. and encounter a World War II-era Marine covered in blood and asking for a match, things take a turn for the creepy.

That's what happened at Camp Hansen's old Gate 3—more than once. In a weird way, it's a good thing the ghostly Marine was hanging out at the gate, defending living American troops because ghosts of World War II Japanese soldiers were reportedly at the same gate all the time.

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The haunting happened so often (some say every weekend) that Marine guards began to refuse to stand guard at Gate 3 and the entry control point was eventually closed. Closing the gate seemed a little unnecessary since the soldier would disappear once his cigarette was lit.

Kadena's Banyan Tree Golf Course Cave

During World War II, the Japanese maintained a field hospital on the site where Kadena's golf course was built. After U.S. troops took the airfields on Okinawa in 1945, Japanese nurses, terrified of Americans due to Japanese propaganda, committed suicide in a nearby cave.

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These days, Okinawans won't go near the cave because the women are said to still haunt the cave and the nearby land–but it's part of Kadena's annual Halloween ghost tour.

Maeda Point's Prophet of Doom

kadena air base
  • Maeda Point

  • Photo Credit: Okinawa Steve / Flickr (CC)

If you're around Maeda Point on Okinawa and you see an elderly man walking around a tomb near the water, just go ahead and row to shore, go right to Personnel, retire, and fly home. It's not worth sticking around, because rumor has it that old man is a ghost and every time someone sees him, there's a body washing ashore on a beach nearby in a just a few days.

The point is apparently the site of many, many suicide jumpers who ended their lives by throwing themselves off the cliff. Not only that, this was also the site of another field hospital used by the Imperial Japanese Army in World War II. If an old man foretelling doom wasn't enough, scuba divers even report seeing ghosts underwater. Some of these end up jumping off the haunted cliff for the rest of eternity, as ghost jumper reports are as ubiquitous as Taco Rice.

Published on 16 Jan 2019

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